Shares in Russian exposed companies bore the brunt of selling pressure across European and US equity markets on Thursday after Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, raising the prospect of tougher sanctions.
US-listed shares of Russian internet giant Yandex N.V. slumped 27% in premarket trading, while companies with operations in Russia such as payment services provider QIWI plc and e-commerce platform Ozon Holdings declined 26% and 18%, respectively.
Carriers Delta Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines slipped between 4.5% and 5.7%, while cruise operator Carnival Corp fell 6%.
"The difficulty we have right now is we don't know what level of sanctions are going to be imposed because that's ultimately going to determine how these companies are impacted," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
"What we're seeing right now with the selloff in stocks like Polymetal and Yandex is an enormous amount of uncertainty being priced in and expectation of massive consequences for these companies because, ultimately, there's a target on their back."
The White House earlier this month warned the US chip industry to be ready for new restrictions on exports to Russia in case of a war.
Chipmakers Micron Technologies, Nvidia Corp and Advanced Micro Devices fell in the range of 3% to 6%.
Among the hardest hit in Europe were shares in London-listed miners Polymetal and Evraz, Polish clothing company LPP, banks Raiffeisen and OTP , and German energy trader Uniper. Their shares were down between 15% and 36% by 1217 GMT.
London-listed shares in Russia's two biggest companies by market value, Sberbank and Gazprom, fell as much as 63% and 30%, respectively.
France's Renault, which controls Russian carmaker Avtovaz, fell 8.9%.
The broader European stock market fell 3% while S&P 500 futures dropped 2.4%.
US President Joe Biden and European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell promised new sanctions, with the US President adding he would be meeting early on Thursday with G7 leaders.
Biden, who orchestrated an initial round of Western sanctions this week against Russian oligarchs, financial institutions and exports, had made clear Moscow would pay a steeper price for continued aggression.
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